Is it selfish to have only one child?

In fact, a growing number of couples are considering having only one kid, and some have no desire to have children at all.Read on...

Is having only one child selfish

Div Acharya - Lifestyle blogs Author

Div Acharya - Lifestyle blogs Author

My partner and I are parents of one child. We are constantly researching to learn more about having and raising a single child. Having said this, my sister and I grew up together. I know what it looks like to have 2 kids in a family..eh?

No, Not at all. Parents are not selfish if they decide to have only one child. There are many reasons why parents decide on having only one child,  being selfish is not one of them.

Well, I wouldn’t say it is selfish to have only one child, I would however say it is selfish to have more and more children if you can’t afford them both Financially and emotionally.

At the end of the day it’s about being the best parent you can be to however many children you choose to have, whether that’s one  or  seven.

Well, let’s discuss the reasons parents decide on having one child and the Advantages of having one child.

Why parents choose to have Only one child

Stereotypes and preconceived beliefs abound when it comes to only children. Some of them are false, while others are true.

Why parents choose to have 1 child.

  1. Parents are often thinking about the time they are going to spend with their child. We thought having only one child makes us spend more time with our child
  2. We will have lots of time for ourselves and our career( this was not a selfish thought, just that we wanted to provide a better life for our entire family)
  3. We also thought we can concentrate on just one child while she is growing up.

Modern science suggests only children are exceedingly normal

The studies show that: Women with higher levels of education have fewer children. The number of children a woman has is related to her educational degree. 

Figure 5 depicts the number of children born to women aged 45-49 years old in 1986 and 2016 by their educational level (i.e., bachelor’s degree or higher, other post-secondary qualification, and no qualification).

Having at least three children was least prevalent among women in their late forties who had a bachelor’s degree or more (36 per cent) and most prevalent among those who had no post-secondary education (56 per cent).

Women in their late forties with a degree or higher qualification had the highest rate of no children (18%), while women without any post-school qualifications had the lowest (17%).(Source)

We also lean on stereotypes that don’t hold up under investigation yet retain their truthfulness. Susan Newman, author of The Case for the Only Child and a social psychologist, adds, “It’s really difficult to change them.” “Consider any ethnic group—stereotypes abound. 

You may not even know who told you that only children are spoilt and lonely, but even after hearing the facts that they aren’t, you still believe what you thought, and your ideas get even stronger the more they are challenged.”

Advantages of having one child

An only kid develops a strong bond with his or her parents and enjoys close contact with them.
An only child has the finest of everything, both material and non-material. A lone child receives his or her parents’ full attention.

Parents who have only one child benefit from “reduced stress and strain; ability to pursue your own interests; spontaneity, [and] a bond that develops between parent and child,” according to a study.

Most Importantly, An only child has the finest of everything, both material and non-material. A lone child receives his or her parents’ full attention. 

An only kid develops a strong bond with his or her parents and enjoys close contact with them.An only child has the finest of everything, both material and non-material. A lone child receives his or her parents’ full attention. 

There are no other siblings for an only child to deal with. An only child will not be compared to another sibling (consciously or unintentionally).

An only child is more self-sufficient.

So what do we get wrong about only children, then?

At school  my daughter was showing off her new shoes, and another mother said to me, ‘Well you can afford to buy your kid the world when you only have one’.”

A Professor at the University of Texas, who has spent more than three decades investigating single-parent families, is unsurprised by such resentment.

She’s preparing to start a study to investigate if people who have “suffered through the experience of bringing up multiple children” think adversely of women who have only one child.

“I’m guessing sure… they’re furious that a one-child mother isn’t making the same sacrifice,” 

However, being an only kid isn’t without its drawbacks. Rather than resolving sibling conflicts, parents must assist their lone child in avoiding boredom and self-absorption.

I’ve come up with a response after being asked the only-child question far too many times. “Perfection was where we came to a halt,” I explain. And that’s the end of it.

Only one child parents, allow yourself to be free of guilt,  They’re not more prone to be spoilt or lonely as children.

“Is she the only one you have?” That question is asked of me by everyone from supermarket cashiers to my parents’ friends. When I say yes, I often get a pitying look or, worse, the question, “Aren’t you concerned she’ll be lonely?”

I had always meant to have two children, but our plans changed when my daughter proved to be more problematic than my husband and I had anticipated.

My spouse has accepted our decision, but I’ve been losing sleep wondering that my daughter will grow up privileged or lonely.

When my husband and I get older, I’m afraid he’ll have to take on more of the caring responsibilities.

References

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (various years). Births Australia (Catalogue no. 3301.0). Canberra: ABS.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1983). Census of population and housing, 30 June 1981: Cross-classified characteristics of persons and dwellings Australia (Catalogue No. 2452.0). Canberra: ABS.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1989). Census of population and housing, 30 June 1986: Cross-classified characteristics of persons and dwellings Australia (Catalogue No. 2498.0). Canberra: ABS.

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